Wyclef on Newark: ‘This is our city’

At the VMAs, artists including Wyclef Jean, Redman and Fetty Wap discuss the importance for the community of holding the awards in New Jersey. (Aug. 27)

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Newark unsure lead water filters are working

New Jersey authorities say they’re working with federal officials to determine how widespread lead in Newark’s drinking water might be. (Aug. 14)

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AP Top Stories August 14 A

Here’s the latest for Wednesday August 14th: Epstein jail warden removed; Hong Kong airport flights resume; Bottled water handed out in Newark, NJ; Alligator attacks woman in South Carolina.

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Southwest leaving Newark airport, groundings cited

Southwest Airlines is leaving New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport at a time when the carrier has canceled dozens of flights a day because of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max. (July 25)

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NJ protesters against Trump natl’ emergency plans

Protesters against President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency on the US-Mexico border gathered Monday in Newark as part of a nationwide campaign by the non-profit advocacy group MoveOn.org. As many as 250 events were expected. (Feb. 18)

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Nivola’s predestined role in ‘Sopranos’ prequel

(10 Jan 2019) At an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Sopranos,” actor Alessandro Nivola reveals who he’ll be playing in the much anticipated movie prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark,” and how landing the role was meant to be. (Jan. 10)

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Newark Has Lead In The Water, And Residents Say The City Lied To Them (HBO)

When Newark announced it was handing out 40,000 filters to residents believed to be at risk of high lead levels in their water, it came as a surprise to some. This was in October, and for more than a year, the city of 285,000 people had said Newark’s water was “absolutely safe to drink,” while robocalls to residents assured them their water was not contaminated.

The city’s messages did include an important caveat: that “the only high lead readings were taken inside older one- and two-family homes that have lead pipes leading from the city’s pure water into those homes.” But the clarifications usually came after messaging touting the water’s safety. For many residents, some of whom didn’t know what a lead service line was and whether their homes and buildings had one or not, the caveat wasn’t the message that stuck.

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Newark mayor defends actions in city water crisis

(8 Nov 2018) The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city is denouncing comparisons between high lead levels in his city’s water and the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan. (Nov. 8)

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N.J. Police Resuscitate Drowning Child

Two police officers pulled an unconscious toddler from a backyard swimming pool in Newark and revived the child. They gave the girl first aid and cleared her airway before she was brought to a hospital where she was treated and released. (July 10)

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What Shaq Learned From The Failures Of ‘Kazaam’ And ‘Shaq Fu’

With career earnings that totaled $292 million and millions more from endorsement deals and movie roles, Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly one of the most successful sports and entertainment personalities of all time. He has, however, had a few stumbles along the way. In 1994, he starred in a video game called “Shaq Fu,” which was released on Sega and Nintendo consoles. The magazine Nintendo Power voted “Shaq Fu” to be the third worst of all time.

In 1996, Shaq got his first starring role in a movie as a rapping genie in Disney’s family comedy “Kazaam.” The movie underperformed at the box office, bringing in around $19 million. It didn’t fare well with critics either. It has a rating of only 6% on the movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

We asked Shaq what he learned from these forays into the worlds of video games and entertainment and how it affected him moving forward.

Shaq recently stopped by Business Insider to talk about his collaboration with home security technology company Ring to raise awareness about how homeowners can better protect their property this holiday season. Shaq recently kicked off a campaign with Ring’s CEO Jamie Siminoff around protecting holiday package deliveries – specifically as National Package Protection Day approaches on Nov. 29. Following is a transcript of the video.

Shaquille O’Neal: If you watch “Kazaam” as an adult, you should be ashamed of yourself. That movie is for children, but because it was me — “The Shaqster” — you get all these Siskel and Ebert-type guys trying to critique the movie.

[The 1996 movie grossed only $19 million. It has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.]

You know, it was just me taking advantage of an opportunity, doing something for kids. I’m not trying to win Oscars and Emmys and Tonys. You know, think about it. A kid from the projects of Newark, New Jersey gets to do a major motion picture. I’m gonna take it every time, no matter what the script it.

Graham Flanagan: Did you make a lot of money from “Kazaam?”

O’Neal: I sure did.

Flanagan: What was your check for that?

O’Neal: You know I don’t like talking about that, but it was — it was nice.

[“Shaq Fu” was released in 1994 for Sega and Nintendo consoles. In 1997, Nintendo Power Magazine voted it the 3rd worst video game ever.]

That was on the end of analog and the birth of digital. Like, if I would have met those digital people I would’ve never approved “Shaq Fu,” but again, a kid from the projects of Newark, New Jersey wants to do a video game. People know I like karate. And it was cool, and then, like 30 days later, all these digital games come out. I was just like, “Oh, no.”

You learn from mistakes like that. I learned then to do your due diligence. You always have to see what’s next, because there’s always something next.

[A “Shaq Fu” reboot is in the works.]

It’s coming out. I just have to make sure it’s perfect. I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and I’m micromanaging something. They send me updates like every two weeks, and I’m like, “Eh, I don’t know yet.”

So, you know, the script has to be good. The effects — like, everything has to be perfect.

What people don’t understand about me is, growing up with a drill sergeant father, I’m programmed not to have my feelings hurt. I listen to people and I respect them. If you don’t like “Kazaam,” okay, I understand. I’m not gonna be like, “Forget you!”

It’s not my style. You don’t like “Shaq Fu?” I understand, but I’m not gonna be wasting my time trying to prove to you that I am a good actor. So, I’m not looking to redeem myself. I’m just looking to put out a pretty good game, and hopefully, the people like it. And if they don’t, then I’ll just try and come back.

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